Davao City

Concerned Davao residents chip in P1 million to catch businesswoman’s killers

Dennis Jay Santos

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Concerned Davao residents chip in P1 million to catch businesswoman’s killers

SUSPECTS. CCTV footage shows a man training a gun on businesswoman-model Yvonette Chua-Plaza just outside the gate of her residence in Green Meadows Subdivision, in Davao City’s Tugbok district, on December 29, 2022.

PNP Davao City

Police look into the robbery angle just as they also suspect that the killing was planned

DAVAO, Philippines – Police announced on Tuesday, January 3, a P1-million reward in exchange for information that could help authorities identify and catch the killers of 38-year-old businesswoman and model Yvonette Chua-Plaza.

The announcement came even as investigators said they were looking into the possibility that Plaza was killed during a robbery, noting that motorcycle-riding gunmen took her bag after shooting her just outside her Green Meadows subdivision house in the village of Mintal, Tugbok District, on Thursday, December 29, 2022.

Davao City police chief Colonel Alberto Lupaz told a news conference that a group of concerned citizens chipped in to raise the P1-million reward in the hope of speeding up the police work to catch those behind the vigilante-style killing.

Police investigators have identified only two “persons of interest,” but Lupaz declined to name any of them because “we are still in the process of investigation.”

Lupaz, however, said investigators were looking into the robbery angle just as they were also suspecting that the fatal attack was planned because the gunmen could have simply walked out after grabbing her belongings. 

Police created a special team to solve the murder case that has become rife with speculations off and on social media because of Plaza’s rumored involvement with a high-ranking and influential military official.

Before she was murdered, Plaza had asked her friends for help, posted photos of her bruised face, and identified the man who allegedly beat her up.

The December 29 murder was caught on CCTV camera, and the footage showed Plaza being attacked shortly after she stepped down from her Mitsubishi Montero SUV on her way to her house at around 7:30 pm. 

A screenshot that went viral showed one of the killers aiming a pistol at her head at close range while another showed her on the ground, facedown, after she was shot.

The bloodied Plaza was already dead when police arrived at the crime scene.

Investigators said the triggerman, who wore a helmet, was about 5’6” tall and had a medium build based on CCTV footage.

Police-Davao region spokesperson Major Eudisan Gultiano said authorities were prioritizing the Plaza murder case especially so because it “has already stirred so much public interest” in Davao and elsewhere. 

Gultiano said investigators were also checking on Plaza’s personal life, including posts she made public on social media, to find out if anyone begrudged her.

“Right now, we cannot confirm the involvement of anybody as what has been posted on social media,” Gultiano added. – Rappler.com

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